“… I have, from time to time,
related some incident of my boyhood,
and these are contained in various
chapters in
The Naturalist in La
Plata, Birds and Man, Adventures
among Birds ….”
—W.H. Hudson, in Far Away And Long Ago

Hudson tells us of them,
the two migrating geese,
she hurt in the wing
indomitably walking
the length of a continent,
and he circling above
calling his distress.
They could not have lived.
Already I see her wing
scraped past the bone
as she drags it through rubble.
A fox, maybe, took her
in his snap jaws. And what
would he do, the point of his wheeling gone?
The wilderness of his cry
falling through an air
turned instantly to winter
would warn the guns of him.
If a fowler dropped him,
let it have been quick,
pellets hitting brain
and heart so his weight
came down senseless,
and nothing but his body
to enter the dog’s mouth.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 3 Number 7, on page 44
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